A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR (29.1)

<<No 29 : 31 July 1973>>

The Publication of A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR has begun.

The first issue (November 1972-March 1973) is a brochure of 80 pages. Publisher: Khronika Press, New York, 1973. Editors: Peter Reddaway (London) and Edward Kline (New York). Price: [$3.00].

The title page closely resembles the typewritten issues of A Chronicle of Current Events with the same running title (“The Movement in Defence of Human Rights in the USSR Continues”) and the same epigraph – Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On the title page are listed the most important items in the issue:

Tile Death of Yury Galanskov; The Lyubarsky Trial; The Convictions of Gluzman, Chornovil and Dzyuba; The Confinement of Plyushch in a Psychiatric Hospital; The Arrests of Belogorodskaya and Khaustov; Searches and Interrogations in the Case of A Chronicle of Current Events; Hunger Strikes by Political Prisoners; Sakharov’s Conversation with the KGB; The Dandaron Trial; Protests against the “Education Tax”; Changes in USSR Copyright Law; Invitations to Bukovsky, Shikhanovich, Yakobson and Levich from Western Universities.

The issue begins with the following statement:

From the Publisher

A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR will inform its readers of events related to Soviet and Western Activities in defence of human rights and social minorities in the USSR, and of means by which Soviet authorities protect or violate human rights and rights of minority groups. Primary attention will be focused on the more typical violations of rights.

A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR, like the Chronicle of Current Events published in the USSR, will not take political positions and will not contain editorial judgments on events described. The principal criterion for selection of information will be reliability, which, in the opinion of the publisher, outweighs concern for the publication’s impact or exhaustive coverage.

Recognizing the historical and doctrinal connection of the USSR with other Socialist states, the publisher has devoted a section of this journal to events “In Socialist Countries”.

A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR is published in separate Russian and English editions.

The publisher welcomes the comments and requests of its readers.

The publisher does not accept support from any government or political organization.

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After the article “The Death of Yury Galanskov,” which stands by itself, the issue contains 14 sections, the headings of which are given below, sometimes indicating (in parentheses) subsections and certain items not listed on the title page quoted above.

1. Political Repressions

  • Trials of V. Popov, K. Lyubarsky, I. Kalynets and I. Shkolnik; Psychiatric Repressions: P. Starchik; Arrests of Savinkin, E. Kuzin, and A. Yegorov (Oryol); Investigations in the cases of P. Yakir and V. Krasin, of Yu. Shikhanovich, of A. Bolonkin, Balakirev and Yu. Yukhnovets, of the brothers I. and G. Goldstein from Tbilisi; Extra-judicial Persecutions.

2. Political Prisoners

  • In Prisons and Camps; in Psychiatric hospitals.

3. The Right to Leave Any Country, Including One’s Own, and the Right to Return to One’s Country

  • Emigration of Jews; Repatriation of Soviet Germans; Emigration and Travel Abroad; V. Chalidze’s loss of citizenship; items on Zh. Medvedev, I. Golomshtok, V. Rubin, S. Kurdakov, P. Dudnikov, Z. Butkus)

4. Rights of National Minorities.

5. The Right to Manifest One’s Religion.

6. Documents of Legal Practice.

7. The Moscow Human Rights Committee.

8. The Defence of Human Rights in the USSR.

  • The demonstration in Pushkin Square on 5 December [1972]; a statement by L. Bogoraz on the acts of the authorities persecuting A Chronicle of Current Events; A. Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Prize speech; A. Sakharov’s statement in defence of S. Gluzman; a letter from A. Sakharov and E. Bonner to Yu. Andropov on the case of Yu. Shikhanovich, a statement from 28 Muscovites “on the public activity of Valery Chalidze”; an open letter to UNESCO from A. Sakharov, I. Shafarevich, G. Podyapolsky, A. Galich, V. Maximov and A. Voronel in connection with the accession of the USSR to the Geneva Convention; a letter to N. Podgorny from 82 Soviet Jews calling for a review of the Leningrad “aeroplane” case; the detention in Moscow, and subsequent deportation from the USSR, of A. Kientzi, M. Celletti, and P. Krosbu, who had distributed leaflets on Revolution Square in Moscow.

9. The Soviet Press on Human Rights.

10. Activities of Organizations Concerned with Human Rights.

11. Western Actions in Defence of Rights in the USSR.

12. In Socialist Countries.

13. Documents of Soviet and International Law.

  • Decrees of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet “On the Reimbursement of State Educational Expenses by Citizens of the USSR Leaving for Permanent Residence Abroad”, 3 August 1972; and “On the Introduction of Changes and Additions to The Fundamental Principles of Civil Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics” (on copyright), 21 February 1973.

14.          Bibliography.

There is an index of names.

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The second issue of the Chronicle of Human Rights, April-May 1973.

The size and section headings are the same as in number 1. Price $3.00, Two sentences have been added to the Publisher’s Statement: “There will be six issues a year. The next issue will come out in September.” The terms for yearly subscriptions are announced.

The contents of the issue (listed on the title page):

  • The Editors of the Chronicle of Current Events Issue a Correction;
  • New Prosecution of Amalrik;
  • Prominent Western Authors Speak Out in Defence of Amalrik;
  • Svetlichny Sentenced;
  • P. Yakir’s Letter to A. Sakharov;
  • Statements in Support of P. Yakir;
  • The Investigation in the case of A Chronicle of Current Events;
  • Documents in the Grigorenko Case;
  • Temkin Deprived of Parental Rights;
  • The Initiative Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR has spoken out in Support of L. Plyushch;
  • American Scholars Defend Yu. Shikhanovich and L. Plyushch;
  • Yu. Shtein’s Letter in Defence of V. Gershuni;
  • The Regulations Concerning Taxes Payable for Education Received.

Standing by itself is the following item, which we quote with a few insignificant cuts:

“The text of a correction issued, one may conclude, by the editors of the samizdat journal A Chronicle of Current Events, has been received in the West…. The appearance of this text, transmitted in the name of the editors of the Chronicle and published below is the only evidence in seven months that the editorial board still exists…. The statement was transcribed in the West on 25 May from a poorly legible original. It reads:

‘An error was made in the “News in Brief” section of Chronicle 14: a report was included of the death of a prisoner, Baranov. … Baranov, who was confined in a camp for ordinary prisoners (“ordinary”, both inside and outside Soviet camps, is the word which designates prisoners sentenced under “non-political” articles of the criminal code, Chronicle) had been declared temporarily insane … He ran out in hospital clothing into the prohibited area and threw himself onto the barbed wire. He received three firearm wounds: one in the chest and two more in, apparently, the legs. The wounds were not fatal – Baranov survived. What happened to him after this is not known.

‘The Chronicle sincerely apologizes to its readers for this unintentional error, which resulted from the extraordinarily complicated conditions of receiving information from penal camps. The Chronicle requests that this belated correction be published on the pages of those independent organs of the press which earlier published the erroneous report.

‘Note: it has become known that the original report is regarded by the investigations administration of the KGB attached to the USSR Council of Ministers as ‘deliberately false and slanderous’ and is one of the key ‘charges’ against the Chronicle.’”

The following are the contents of certain sections of issue No. 2.

1. The conviction of N. Svetlichnaya and E. Sverstyuk; the threat of compulsory psychiatric treatment for Yu. Shikhanovich and R. Mukhamedyarov; interrogations and searches in the case of S. Myuge; the persecution of V. and E. Levich.

2. A letter from I. F. Fyodorov (father of the prisoner Yu. Fyodorov) to the Procurator-General of the USSR on the deliberate humiliations imposed on political prisoners and their relatives.

5. A list of those convicted in the trial of the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect in Klaipeda [Latvia] in March.

7. An appeal by the Human Rights Committee on behalf of A, Amalrik; 1. Shafarevich’s report to the committee: “Legislation Concerning Religion in the Soviet Union”.

11. Appeals of Western scientists in defence of N. Strokata.